Title: Saikano (She, the Ultimate Weapon)
Genre: romance, fantasy, drama, sci-fi, mecha
Released date: July 2, 2002 – September 24, 2002
Director: Mitsuko Kase
Animated by: GONZO Studio
Comment: I’ve been watching anime for years and I can’t help wonder why the government always entrusted the future of mankind in the hands of some high school kids. ‘They are destined or they are genetically chosen to be the savior of mankind’ is a familiar excuse.
In Saikano, there is no effort to explain clearly why Chize who is very young, weak and emotionally unstable is modified into The Ultimate Weapon, the last hope of Japan in this futuristic world war. Actually, the war only serves as the anime’s background and provides various obstacles and challenges to the two protagonists. Chize, a normal high school girl who is far from being the brightest, strongest, most courageous or most beautiful, is half human half killing machine. She and Shuji, her boyfriend with nothing so special as well, try to carry their relationship through the cruel world raged with wars and natural disasters and at the same time try to overcome their inner conflicts. Chize feels guilty and is afraid of herself every time she fights and slaughters her enemies in battle fields and she fears that one day shuji will see the monster she has become and abandon her. Shuji does love Chize but he is also afraid of her as she gradually gains more destructive power as a weapon and consequently he feels ashamed of himself for feeling that way. The other supporting characters also suffer from various disasters, misfortunes and lost loves. The drawing style of the anime is quite unique and all the characters seem to be flushing all the time. Personally, I love the complexity and development of the two leading characters but the anime is really impossibly depressing that it is frustrating at times. In each episode, there must be at least two people who cry. Conclusion: Saikano may be the love-it-or-hate-it type of anime. For me, this anime has both the good and the annoying parts but the former out weights the latter.